Page: 137-149 Author: MIKULAJOVÁ, M., VELECKÁ, A Key words: reading, dyslexia, language and cognitive skills.
The aim of our study is to analyse the cognitive abilities of children diagnosed as having specific learning disorders (sometimes in combination with other developmental disorders) identified in ordinary primary schools, speciál primary schools and special-educational centres. These then are children who háve difficulties in reading and/or in spelling.
The clinical group consisted of 92 children from the 3rd Year of primary school, who were compared with 94 children of (academically) the samé age representing the normál. All the children were given tests to identify the level of their non-verbal IQ, linguistic, cognitive and executive abilities and also tests fo-cused on reading and spelling.
Our results confirm the conclu-sions of previous research studies, i.e. that many Slovak-speaking children (specifically 50 %), who háve been diagnosed with an SLD by experts, achieve reading abilities in the normál band. The basic difficulties in the clinical children occur in orthography and in related cognitive abilities. In most of the abilities monitored we found no statistically significant difference between "good" readers and weak readers with dyslexia (who were chosen on the basis of decoding/comprehension of what was read), apart from the RAN test, orthography and visual at-tention.
Many children with dyslexia in transparent orthography achieve a relatively good level in reading (both in decoding and in comprehension), but deeper cognitive deficits are behind their school difficulties. If a child is once diagnosed as suffering SLD in the course of the first three years of formal schooling, that chilďs cognitive skills should be monitored even if he or she is doing relatively well at reading, which may already be a form of compensation.